I just finished reading a short biography by Daniel Akin on the life of missionary Eric Liddell, whose career as an Olympic runner was made famous by the 1982 film Chariots of Fire. There is much of Liddel's life that is commendable to all of us but he would want to be most known for the race that he ran as a follower of Jesus. One notable quote by Liddell is that he said, "We are all missionaries. Wherever we go we either bring people nearer to Christ or we repel them from Christ."
In order to run the race well, Liddel would turn to Hebrews 12:1-2: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
In order to be the missionaries that we are called to be, Liddell would identify some "weights" that would hinder us:
Prejudices - I believe it is God's will that the whole world should be without any barriers of race, colour, class, or anything else that breaks the spirit of fellowship.
Distraction - If you are not guided by God, you will be guided by someone or something else.
Rebellion - Surrender means the end of the great rebellion of our wills.
Disobedience - Sin is anything we know we should do but won't or don't do. It is therefore disobedience.
Persecution - The only way to face persecution is to rejoice. Any other way of facing it fails to come out victorious. The apostles rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name (Acts 5:41).
Lordship - To speak of Jesus as Lord means that I give him the control of my will... I say "Lord Jesus," meaning Jesus is now Lord of my life to lead and dictate. My greatest joy is just to do what pleases him.
Unexpected hardships - Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God's plans, but God is not helpless among ruins.